Manson Family

Brutally murdered seven people to start an apocalyptical race war that was prophesied by The Beatles

1967 - 1969

Charles Manson (founder)

Charles Manson had always been on the wrong side of the law, with a history of stealing cars, robbing gas stations, and prostituting women. By the time he started the Manson Family at age 32, he had already been institutionalized or incarcerated for more than half his life and requested to stay in prison.

Manson was released in 1967 and became a spiritual guru with a small group of followers during Summer of Love. Initially preaching a relatively standard message against materialism, Manson's teachings became more extreme as time went on. Most significantly, he claimed that there would soon be an apocalyptic race war and that the musical group The Beatles had been putting secret messages about this war in their music directed toward the Manson Family. According to Manson, black people would overthrow the whites but would not have the ability to lead themselves. Therefore, the Manson family would rise as the new world leaders.

As Manson's teachings became more extreme, so did his actions. After shooting a drug dealer, Manson became paranoid and turned their home into a defensive camp with armed guards. Later, members unsuccessfully tried to swindle a man out of his money and ended up holding him hostage for two days and stabbing him to death.

Most significantly, though, followers of Manson went to the house of actress Sharon Tate, who was almost nine months pregnant. There, they brutally murdered her, along with four others, and wrote messages in the blood of their victims. The next night, his followers murdered two more people in a similar fashion. Investigators speculate that this happened to initiate the apocalyptic race war by tricking the public into thinking that black people were the murderers.

In the end, five members, including Manson, were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Today, the nation remembers them as one of the most brutal cults of the 20th century.

Religion: Other

Founder: Charles Manson

Location: San Fernando Valley, California, USA

Founded: 1967

Ended: 1969

Three members, convicted of murder

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